Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm
Thursday 30th June at 4 Pines Park, 7:50pm
Manly have had two weeks to stew over their stunning loss to the Cowboys, while the Storm will be looking to hold on to their top two spot. Traditionally, Manly verse Melbourne at Brookvale have been close and fiery clashes over the years, and we should not expect any different here. Manly will be desperate to stay within reach of the top eight, but the Storm are all class and should edge out a win, with or without their representative players.
Storm by 6
Newcastle Knights v Gold Coast Titans
Friday 1st July at McDonald Jones Stadium, 6pm
The struggling Knights take on a hapless Titans without their skipper Kalyn Ponga. The Knights have the worst attack and the Titans have the second-worst defence in the competition, so this might result in a scrappy contest. Both sides are desperate to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, but on paper, the Titans have a more potent backline and with the return of David Fifita, they should have enough points in them to spring an upset away from home.
Titans by 8
Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters
Friday 1st July at BlueBet Stadium, 7:55pm
The bulk of the Panthers squad were involved in rep round and they are all expected to back up, which does not bode well for a Roosters side which to the surprise of many, have dropped out of the top eight. To make matters worse for them, they will be missing Luke Keary again, but even at full strength, the Panthers are rarely challenged when playing at home.
Panthers by 14
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Saturday 2nd July at CommBank Stadium, 3pm
The Bulldogs are riding high from back-to-back comprehensive wins to give their long-suffering fans some hope for future success. The Sharks have won four of their past six to find themselves in the top four, but those four wins have come against the woeful Warriors (twice) and Titans (twice). The Bulldogs will be confident and if they bring the same energy for a third-straight game, they can cause another boilover here. There might be a bit of ‘fools gold’ with respect to the Sharks recent form.
Bulldogs by 10
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos
Saturday 2nd July at QCB Stadium, 5:30pm
This could be the blockbuster match of the round between derby rivals, Cowboys and Broncos. An improved Broncos will be looking to avenge their heavy loss to the Cowboys in round three, but the Cowboys of 2022 are fit and they are resilient. The Broncos are eyeing a top four finish and need a win here, but the third-placed Cowboys at a sold out QCB Stadium should grind out a close win.
Cowboys by 2
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Parramatta Eels
Saturday 2nd July at Accor Stadium, 7:35pm
Latrell Mitchell makes his highly anticipated return to help an inconsistent Rabbitohs make a charge towards the finals. The Eels are another side eyeing off a spot in the top four, but the challenge for them is backing up their high intensity win over the Roosters last round, because we rarely see those performances every week. It is one of those games where we do not know which Rabbitohs and which Eels side is going to show up. On recent form, the Eels should get it done.
Eels by 8
New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers
Sunday 3rd July at Mt Smart Stadium, 2pm
The long-awaited homecoming for the Warriors has finally arrived at a sold out Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. This will be a special occasion for their home fans who have not seen their team play in person since August, 2019. They come up against an equally struggling Tigers who have seemingly all but written off the 2022 season. If the Warriors cannot get up for this game, the wooden spoon may also take a trip to New Zealand.
Warriors by 1
St George Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders
Sunday 3rd July at WIN Stadium, 4:05pm
This will be an intriguing contest between two sides who have been in reasonable form as of late, which sees them well entrenched in the battle for a top eight position. The Raiders are under more pressure though, and will be desperate to jag a win before their bye. On paper, both sides are evenly matched across the park, but the Dragons may have the slightest advantage playing in front of their home fans.
Dragons by 4
Featured Image: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland (warriors.kiwi)